The Government is set to proceed with the process for introducing electronic voting. I respect the fact that the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Deputy Cullen, tried to make contact from Brussels yesterday about the appointment of an independent panel. That was the level of consultation with the leaders of the Opposition parties about this matter. Is the Taoiseach happy with that level of consultation on a matter so fundamental to our democracy as a change in the voting system? Why were the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Ombudsman not appointed to the independent panel? Is it because they had expressed concern about this change to the system of voting? Why were they not appointed to the commission?
Can the Taoiseach verify whether he is prepared to expand the terms of reference of the independent panel? It seems that the panel is now being forced to examine this system only and verify if it is foolproof and can command trust. Can it also consider the different electronic system about which the Taoiseach spoke yesterday, which 400 million Indians used to vote? Why is the panel confined to one system only? Will the Taoiseach confirm that its terms of reference can be broadened to examine other electronic systems to achieve some measure of trust in a system that has now patently become a complete and utter shambles?
Is the Taoiseach prepared to expand the terms of reference? Why were the Comptroller and Auditor General and Ombudsman not appointed to the panel? Is it because they had made statements expressing concern about a process that has become completely politicised in the last few months?